What to Consider when Buying a House Post-COVID
During lockdown, most of us have been spending significantly more time at home. Many of us have started to re-evaluate both what we want and what we need from our living arrangements, as well as where we want to live.
Lots of us will be working from home more, which could mean you need an extra room to use as a home office. Or perhaps you want to move out of the city and into a more rural setting.
With this in mind, here are five things to consider when buying a house post-COVID.
Your mortgage and other costs of moving house
It isn’t yet clear what the full impact of COVID-19 will be on the property market, but house prices have fluctuated over the past few months.
There has also been a decrease in the number of mortgages available, especially those requiring a lower deposit. This means that a good deal may be harder to come by, although if you have a higher deposit to put down then you may find it easier to find a good mortgage deal.
If your financial situation has changed as a result of the pandemic, it’s important to check how this could affect your mortgage application, whether you need to reassess your budget and whether you can also afford the other costs of moving house such as stamp duty, solicitor fees and a homebuyers’ report.
The location of the property
We’ve had a lot of time to reassess our priorities over the past few months, and as such your preference may have changed when it comes to the location you wish to buy a house in. Perhaps you’ve discovered that you wish to live closer to family, to relocate from the city to the countryside or to move to a more affordable area.
You may have been in the process of house hunting before lockdown began, but take your time to properly consider where you want to live before progressing with your search.
Commuting to work
Most people will take into account the proximity of a property to their place of work when it comes to house hunting, however many of us will be working from home more in the future, which means that commuting may no longer need to be a primary factor when it comes to choosing where you want to live.
Instead of living in the city, you may choose to relocate to a commuter town to save on costs and be nearer to green space, or perhaps even further afield if your job looks set to become flexible for the long term.
The value of the house
The value of a property has always been relevant, but in this tricky time you should take extra care to ensure you’re getting good value for money before you buy a house.
Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in, take the time to find out how long it has been on the market for and why, if other potential buyers have pulled out of the sale and why, and if there has been a cost reduction in the past and why.
It could be that there’s a risk of flooding, an issue with the lease or plans for an undesirable development nearby. Ultimately you want to ensure you’re getting a good deal which will hopefully provide a good return on investment when you come to sell the property in the future.
The quality of the building
Unless you’re looking for a major fixer-upper, it’s important to check the quality of the building, as a poor-quality building could mean significant costs down the line.
Ensure it is structurally sound with no big cracks in any of the walls, check the quality of the plumbing and the age of the boiler and check how well soundproofed the property is. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time working from home, you don’t want to be able to hear your neighbours’ every word.
That said, if a big project sounds right up your street, read our guide on things to consider when looking for the perfect fixer-upper.